iOS 8 Beta 2 Released: Here Are Some Interesting Features

Apple released iOS 8 beta 2 and there’s a bunch of interesting changes to the operating system. If you have installed iOS 8 beta 1 already, you can upgrade to the beta 2 by connecting your iPhone to iTunes, downloading the beta 2 firmware from the developer account/download page and installing the firmware through iTunes.

The changes include a few interface and feature additions to Messages, Safari etc. Here’s a look at some of the most important changes that have been introduced in the beta 2.

iOS 8 Beta 2 Features


Subtle Interface Changes in Messages app
The blue-colored record and camera buttons are now back to gray. It’s a subtle change that reflects a lot in terms of usability. The blue was a tad too bright for the eyes and would have been  over prolonged usage – an eyesore.

Read All for Messages
If you tapped on Edit in the Message threads interface, you can now see a Read All option at the bottom. Tapping this will, obviously, mark all unread messages as read. This is similar to the Mark All As Read from Mail.

Raise to Listen Switch
In iOS 8, Apple introduced the ability to “listen” to an incoming message just by raising your iPhone up to your ear. In beta 2, there’s a kill switch for this so that you can turn on/off by flipping a switch.

Also check out: iOS 8 features


Safari Blocks Auto-jump to App Store
When you tap an “app” link in Safari, your iPhone/iPad automatically opened the App Store and switched to it immediately. It’s not particularly annoying all the time but it does break the workflow when you’re reading something on Safari. In iOS 8 beta 2, Safari will first ask for your permission/confirmation before switching to App Store.

“Quick Website Search” in Safari
You can now set shortcut phrases to search particular websites. For instance, you can type wiki Apple to search Wikipedia for the term Apple. It’s not limited to wikipedia or Google. You can configure particular websites of your choice.

Pinch for Tab View in Safari
When you want to get to the tab view, you don’t have to tap on the tab icon from the menu. Do a two-finger pinch and Safari will show the tabs that are open.

Other features

Podcasts App is Now Part of Stock
The Podcasts app is now part of the stock; which means it will be installed by default. Of course, you can pick alternatives for the podcasts app.

QuickType Comes to iPad
QuickType, which predicts words based on what you’ve typed and the context now comes to the iPad too. With QuickType, you’ll be able to type faster.

Home Data (HomeKit)
Just like how you can see what apps use your Microphone or Location Data, there’s Home Data which shows what apps are accessing the HomeKit feature. Although right now, this is not going to be a part of the popular features.

New Notifications Kill Switch
One good thing to come out of iOS 8 beta 2 is the general kill switch for notifications on a per-app basis. When you open Settings → Notifications → {App}, there’s Allow Notifications switch which serves as a kill switch.

Battery Usage for No Cell Coverage
iOS 8 beta 2 will also tell you how much battery is being used when your iPhone is trying to pick up cellphone coverage in weak areas where there’s mostly no service.